Video games have become increasingly mom-friendly as they get kids up and moving and active while having fun. A few weeks ago, I was invited to preview the fall releases for XBox Kinect. Getting a personal tour of the new Kinect games put me in the position of “cool mom”—I loved seeing my kids’ facial expressions when I told them how I spent my day playing video games!
This was my first encounter with the Xbox Kinect. At first, it was hard to sync my body movements with the screen action. Often, my movements were just a second or two too late to score me points! Despite my lack of coordination, I enjoyed trying the Kinect because I am lousy at using a controller, and this technology is hands-free; a sensor reads your moves and interprets it on screen. Engaging with the XBox Kinect turned me into a kid again—as the game action became more intensified, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It also helped that my colleague and noted toy expert, Marianne Szymanski was there with me; she was extremely gracious about my lack of coordination!
One of the games I tried was Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do. This will be a great game for families to play together! Although there are some classic carnival-themed activities, like ring-toss, included in this game. The game play is immersive and really puts you in a carnival-kind of mood. I also tried out Kung Fu Panda, and that was hilarious as my physical strength and coordination was tested to the max. Here, the game play requires karate moves, not something I do every day! The Kinect expert would guide me by shouting out the moves, “kick NOW!”, “go, Julie, go!” and I had to swing my arms and do the best karate kicks I could possibly muster. I couldn’t stop laughing at myself and how bad I am at following Left or Right. So, I can say without hesitation that Kinect is definitely a good tool to help improve one’s hand/eye coordination, and I can use some of that!